FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2014
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AUSTIN - Forty-one years to the day after the last American combat troops left Vietnam and nine years after monument efforts began, the long-awaited and much-deserved Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument was unveiled and dedicated today on the Capitol grounds. Thousands of people attended the event from across the state to honor and memorialize the selfless service and ultimate sacrifice made by our armed forces of the Vietnam generation.
"Today, on Texas Vietnam Veterans' Day, it is an incredible honor that we can dedicate this monument as a salute to our Vietnam heroes. It is long overdue to welcome our Vietnam Veterans home and honor those 3,417 soldiers who did not make it back.
As a Vietnam Veteran for the United States Marine Corps, I understand the difficult sacrifices that our military families endure on a daily basis. The Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument honors and thanks our fallen Vietnam Heroes and their families for their ultimate sacrifice of defending our freedom, and welcomes those who came home and fought with great courage and resilience.
It is our hope that this monument will ensure that the memory of our Texas Vietnam Heroes lives on. Semper Fi," stated Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa.
Senator Hinojosa proudly co-authored House Concurrent Resolution 36 of the 79th Legislative Session with State Representative Wayne Smith, that authorized the creation of a Vietnam Veterans War monument on the Capitol grounds. Funding for the monument was finally secured during the 82nd Legislation Session when Hinojosa obtained a $500,000 matching grant towards the installment of the monument.
The memorial is a 14 foot high sculpture of an infantry patrol and is 125% life size with accurate replications of equipment, guns and clothing. 3,417 Texans died while serving in Vietnam, and countless others demonstrated courage and dignity in that conflict. To honor these men and women, 3,417 personalized dog tags bearing the name, rank, branch of service, home record and date of loss of each of our Texas Heroes were created and entombed inside the monument.